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Covey - The 7 habits of highly effective people

supplier to your

supplier to your company, for example, and I win on my terms in a particular negotiation, I may get what I want now. But will you come to me again? My short-term win will really be a long-term lose if I don't get your repeat business. So an interdependent win-lose is really lose-lose in the long run. If we come up with a lose-win, you may appear to get what you want for the moment. But how will that affect my attitude about working with you, about fulfilling the contract? I may not feel as anxious to please you. I may carry battle scars with me into any future negotiations. My attitude about you and your company may be spread as I associate with others in the industry. So we're into lose-lose again. Lose-lose obviously isn't viable in any context. And if I focus on my own win and don't even consider your point of view, there's no basis for any kind of productive relationship. In the long run, if it isn't a win for both of us, we both lose. That's why win-win is the only real alternative in interdependent realities. I worked with a client once, the president of a large chain of retail stores, who said, "Stephen, this win-win idea sounds good, but it is so idealistic. The tough, realistic business world isn't like that. There's win-lose everywhere, and if you're not out there playing the game, you just can't make it." "All right," I said, "try going for win-lose with your customers. Is that realistic?" "Well, no," he replied. "Why not?" "I'd lose my customers." "Then, go for lose-win -- give the store away. Is that realistic?" "No. No margin, no mission." As we considered the various alternatives, win-win appeared to be the only truly realistic approach. "I guess that's true with customers," he admitted, "but not with suppliers." "You are the customer of the supplier," I said. "Why doesn't the same principle apply?" "Well, we recently renegotiated our lease agreements with the mall operators and owners," he said. "We went in with a win-win attitude. We were open, reasonable, conciliatory. But they saw that position as being soft and weak, and they took us to the cleaners." "Well, why did you go for lose-win?" I asked. "We didn't. We went for win-win." "I thought you said they took you to the cleaners." "They did." 133

"In other words, you lost." "That's right." "And they won." "That's right." "So what's that called?" When he realized that what he had called win-win was really lose-win, he was shocked. And as we examined the long-term impact of that lose-win, the suppressed feelings, the trampled values, the resentment that seethed under the surface of the relationship, we agreed that it was really a loss for both parties in the end. If this man had had a real win-win attitude, he would have stayed longer in the communication process, listened to the mall owner more, then expressed his point of view with more courage. He would have continued in the win-win spirit until a solution was reached and they both felt good about it. And that solution, that Third Alternative, would have been synergistic -- probably something neither of them had thought of on his own. Win-Win or No Deal TM If these individuals had not come up with a synergistic solution -- one that was agreeable to both -- they could have gone for an even higher expression of win-win, Win-Win or No Deal. No deal basically means that if we can't find a solution that would benefit us both, we agree to disagree agreeably -- no deal. No expectations have been created, no performance contracts established. I don't hire you or we don't take on a particular assignment together because it's obvious that our values or our goals are going in opposite directions. It is so much better to realize this up front instead of downstream when expectations have been created and both parties have been disillusioned. When you have no deal as an option in your mind, you feel liberated because you have no need to manipulate people, to push your own agenda, to drive for what you want. You can be open. You can really try to understand the deeper issues underlying the positions. With no deal as an option, you can honestly say, "I only want to go for win-win. I want to win, and I want you to win. I wouldn't want to get my way and have you not feel good about it, because downstream it would eventually surface and create a withdrawal. On the other hand, I don't think you would feel good if you got your way and I gave in. So let's work for a win-win. Let's really hammer it out. And if we can't find it, then let's agree that we won't make a deal at all. It would be better not to deal than to live with a decision that wasn't right for us both. Then maybe another time we might be able to get together." Some time after learning the concept of Win-Win or No Deal, the president of a small computer software company shared with me the following experience: 134

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